Illinois public health managers hope for more effective flu vaccine this year

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SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) -- It's too soon to know how bad this year's flu season will be, but Illinois' Department of Public Health officials are encouraging people to go get a flu shot.

Last year's flu season wasn't as effective as other years. The Centers for Disease Control said it was a high severity season.

The Illinois Department of Public Health's Melaney Arnold said no one knows what this flu season will bring, but she says no matter what, a flu shot is your best defense.

"Getting a flu shot is still better than not getting one," Arnold said. "It can lessen the impact of the flu if you still get it."

Arnold said it's too soon to know what this year will bring.

"The overall vaccine effectiveness in the 2017-2018 flu season was about 40 percent," Arnold said. "The vaccine reduced a person's overall risk of having to seek medical care for the flu by about 40 percent. We typically hope that's a little higher, about 60 percent."

Arnold said people can get a flu shot at their doctor's office, local pharmacies, and often times at their local public health department.

- WQAD contributed the video in this story. It is not from this year.

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